By Christian G. Crawford
Hope is a pursuit.
Hope commands breath.
Our pursuit has ended abruptly—however.
Our ears have stopped listening.
Chaos is no longer imminent.
It is now.
Despair has taken the place of hope.
Leading to mass funerals.
Physical. Virtual. Political. Social.
The graveyard is full.
But the ravers keep digging.
Searching for space.
Space to fill it with what?
I don’t know.
Maybe all of the above.
Everything—anything—could fall into the pit of no return.
Entering the abyss of eternity.
As it is in heaven, so it is on earth.
The kingdom is coming.
And the eternal home ain’t pretty.
Not with this despair running around like it has no common sense.
That’s just it.
Despair is so common now.
It moves in peculiar, uncanny ways.
Causing a stir. A ruckus. A war.
There are battles on all fronts.
How many more people will die?
How much longer will the war—the chaos—last?
And what about the prisoners of it?
Caged in their own land.
Shouting for freedom, for liberty.
I hear more noise.
Above the chaos.
Despite the despair.
A clinging. A crashing.
But despair is fighting back.
Seeking to win.
But we can’t let that happen.
Despair can’t win.
We must end this chaos.
And bury despair once and for all.
We must get back on the path of hope.
And listen to their commands.
Taking Hope One Step Further:
Chaos amid despair demands the presence of hope.
The obstacles before America require an unyielding, unending pursuit of hope. A hope that leaps over and presses through the pandemic, economic friction, and racial tension.
Hope is faith—in divinity and humanity. It propels us above callousness and partisan politics. It pushes us beyond distress and doubt. To get on this path of hope, we must be willing to confront the evils that plague our society. Hate must die. Haughtiness must be defeated. Love must become a universal language. The question before us is this: Are we—as a nation—seeking a truce with chaos and despair or pursuing truth? Our answer to this question will lead to a return of normalcy or a rejuvenation, a revival, a renewal of an America we can collectively call home. When rain falls, something grows. When fire burns, something grows. In all things, God is working.
Are we going to be a blockade to God’s blessings? Will we stumble over the witty residue of an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God?
This God transcends party politics and governmental structures.
In these current times, God is calling us to pursue and to breathe. Ironically, however, divergent paths are appealing, and all of us do not breathe at the same pace. Together, we must lean towards the path of hope and allow divinity to lead us in the right direction.
And where there is divinity, there is justice.
We may not all breathe at the same pace, but breath discloses a common trait amongst and within all of us. That common trait rest in four letters, one word: life.
Life should draw us nearer to one another.
It should cause us to work together to end this chaos—this madness—and defeat despair.
It should call us to listen, to laugh, to love, to hope.
Life calls us to live.
May we be lights in these dark days, ending despair, quelling chaos, and pursuing hope.
Christian G. Crawford is an alumnus of Clay-Chalkville High School. He received regional and national recognition for an impromptu prayer at his high school graduation, an experience documented in Valley Road: Uplifting Stories From Down South by Gary Lloyd. A graduate of Auburn University at Montgomery, Crawford is currently a candidate for a Master of Theological Studies at Vanderbilt University, while also focusing on Black Church Studies and American Studies. Crawford frequently writes on issues of theology and politics.